The Commission has imposed a fine of just over EUR 1 million on S.C. OPCOM S.A. (“OPCOM”) for abusing its dominant position in the Romanian market for facilitating electricity spot trading in violation of EU competition rules. OPCOM operates the only power exchange in Romania. The Commission found that OPCOM discriminated against EU-based electricity traders from outside Romania for over five years. Between 2008 and 2013, OPCOM required members of the spot electricity markets to have a Romanian VAT registration, refusing to accept traders that were already registered for VAT in other EU Member States. As a result, EU traders could only enter the Romanian wholesale electricity market by setting up a fixed establishment in Romania, which entailed additional costs and organizational disadvantages for EU traders compared to Romanian traders. Discrimination on grounds of nationality or place of establishment is against the basic principles of the Single Market. OPCOM's VAT registration requirement created an artificial barrier to market entry for EU traders and in turn reduced liquidity on the wholesale electricity market. Furthermore, the Commission held OPCOM's parent company CNTEE Transelectrica S.A. (“Transelectrica”) liable for the infringement. Source: Commission Press Release 5/3/2014